Time and time again, Mother Nature finds a way to prove just how inadequate human technology is compared to her own mysterious tools. New research has found compelling evidence that wild animals know when an earthquake is coming long before humans and their gadgets get the heads up. Now experts hope to make use of that ability, taking cues from nature to keep citizens safe.
For anyone even halfway familiar with climate change, they are probably growing tired of hearing it - but all the same, it should be said: Antarctica's exceptionally important ice shelves are crumbling away at increasingly worrying rates, and we have climate change to blame.
Unlike a great many other first-world environmental agencies, the UK's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) remains fairly uncertain about neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides commonly called "neonics." Officials frequently cite one large-scale study in particular to argue that these chemicals are mostly harmless. Now, however, one researcher has set out to tell DEFRA that they've been wrongly interpreting that key study for the last two years.
We certainly know how long our own day is, and Mars is not much longer (24 hours and 40 min). The closest planet to the Sun, Mercury's own incredibly long day lasts more than 1,407 hours. What's interesting, however, is that astronomers know all this with near certainty. That's not the case for Saturn, on the other hand, whose day length has remained something of an enigma.
For the most part, evolution seems a lot like a lottery of mutations. The winners get to survive, reproduce, and eventually evolve. The losers disappear from all but the fossil record. Now new research has revealed that a small group of microbes and viruses are apparently cheating the system, systematically picking and choosing what mutates to help them live in some hostile environments.
If you've ever taken an evening hike, you may have seen them: mushrooms that are a little brighter than they should be in the failing light. Thousands of years ago, Greek philosophers called this "cold fire" as the light emanated from decaying wood, but today's scientists know better. It's bioluminescence, and researchers are revealing how and why exactly some mushrooms have it.
Do you frequently bite your nails? Twirl or pull your hair? Maybe pick at your skin? New research has determined that this repetitive behavior is triggered not only when you are nervous, but when you are bored or frustrated as well. What's more, this kind of behavior may be a sign that you are, in some small way, a perfectionist.
Two years ago, an object the size of a small boulder slammed into the surface of Earth's Moon with immense force, creating a flash of light nearly 10 times brighter than anything lunar impact ever recorded. Like many impacts before it, the collision changed the face of our moon forever, adding several new craters and altering old ones. Now NASA experts are working to distinguish the new from the old - identifying the Moon's freshest craters to help them better understand these kinds of impacts.
Imagine you've come across a slug-like worm just inching along, minding its own business. This little guy isn't exactly intimidating, so you take the time to sit and watch him as he makes his way across the floor. A cricket wanders onto the scene, and you wonder if they are friends... and then suddenly this unassuming worm is firing two jets of slime straight at his 'friend.' The cricket, covered in sticky goo, has nowhere to run, and the once relaxed pace of this worm takes on a foreboding nature - a leisurely stroll to a crunchy cricket dinner.
Imagine you have a pond of fish and you feed them the same amount of food every day. Suddenly you're tasked with making these fish more plentiful, or at least larger, without affecting how much they are fed. This may sound like a problem that can be solved only with a biblical miracle, but a team of researchers has managed pull it off, and without using chemicals, hormones, or other modern "cheats."
They may be tiny, but fruit flies actually sleep for up to half their short adult lives. Now, researchers are finding that access to the occasional midnight snack may actually disrupt this important rest cycle, potentially harming their tiny little hearts.
It's difficult enough to make friends after moving to a new neighborhood but finding love is a whole other can of worms. And when you're not exactly welcome there, the task could seem nigh-impossible. Such is the case for many invasive species, but researchers are finding that these nuisances are meeting at recognizable landmarks to hook up.
Hummingbirds have always been impressive fliers. Constantly searching for fresh sources of sweet nectar, the birds can move their wings at incredible speeds, flitting around with great agility and precision even in tumbling winds. Now a new study of hummingbirds in slow motion footage has revealed just how they overcome turbulence with their unique wings.
It's no secret that cats are picky pets. They can be perfectly content with you stroking their soft fur and then suddenly WHAMMO! you get a paw full of claws to the hand. Of course, the temperament of your furry friend influences if and when this happens, but researchers at the University of Lincoln decided to investigate if there is a surefire way to "properly" pet your cat.
And you thought shaking your hair around like a wet dog was fun... A new study has found that geckos have a unique way of shedding moisture in a process that literally launches tiny water droplets away from their skin. Researchers even suspect that this keeps the delicate lizards clean and free of harmful microbial life.